Interior Health works with communities on heat alerts – Williams Lake Tribune

Interior Health is working with municipalities to develop a “heat alert and response” system ahead of a possible repeat of the heated dome that settled over British Columbia last summer.

Dr. Sue Pollock, acting chief medical officer for Interior Health, said the idea is to educate communities and organizations on how to plan for and respond to extreme heat situations, such as alerting the public, putting setting up cooling shelters and having systems in check to keep tabs on vulnerable people such as young children, the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.

Last summer, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued heat alerts after temperatures in parts of the southern interior reached or exceeded thresholds such as daytime temperatures of 35°C and nighttime temperatures of 18° C. Pollack noted that warnings are needed, especially with climate projections for warmer temperatures year round.

“We would amplify that, send it to our channels to make sure they’re aware, but also to provide guidance on what people can do,” Pollack said, noting that heat causes a continuum of illnesses such as rashes, sunburn and sunburn.

In addition to providing communities with a toolkit, Interior Health reminds residents to take steps to keep their homes cool, such as closing blinds during the day or having an air conditioner handy.

“It’s a very serious situation and it’s important to take the time we have now, when it’s not so hot, to prepare as much as possible. Overall, we will have warmer summers. The first thing people may think about now is how to prepare for it.

In British Columbia, average annual temperature increases of 1.3 to 2.7°C are projected by 2050, with projected impacts including more frequent and severe heat waves leading to increased heat-related illnesses. the heat.

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